Submitted by fyreflake t3_11e9qv8 in philadelphia

Edit: Thanks everyone for the help! I will pursue some of the suggestions here and post an update when I find a solution in case it helps someone in the future. Y'all are awesome!

Does anyone know a notary service that can notarize legal documents in Chinese? I can't find an active notary service in Chinatown via Google/Yelp (and don't know enough Chinese to be able to able to check Chinese sources). Hoping for a rec! Thanks.



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pdperson t1_jad0uml wrote

I've never seen a notary read the document they're witnessing a signature to.


oliver_babish t1_jad5ovg wrote

Yeah, does the notarization need to be in Chinese or is it just that the document is? Because all the notary is doing is affirming that the the signer presented valid ID and signed the document in front of the notary.


fyreflake OP t1_jad97hu wrote

From what I've read online, they don't need to read the documents and can notarize documents in a foreign language, but they reserve the right to not notarize docs if they have concerns about the documents being misrepresented? None of my banks are willing to notarize the documents and a few local notaries I called also said the same. My sister also had to find a Chinese notary service in California.


pdperson t1_jadandy wrote

What if you try someplace less rules-y than a bank? Autotag or UPS store or something?


GoyoPollo1 t1_jaemzlw wrote

Sadly, I had this experience with French documents. UPS wouldn’t do it. Finally, my sisters bank would do it so I drove up there with her and had her. I was at my wits end until this person helped.


Aromat_Junkie t1_jadbsr4 wrote

maybe there is a chinese notary in chinatown or similar you can go to?


geriatric_tatertot t1_jadclos wrote

Check with real estate offices in Chinatown. They'll have notaries working there. Also a bank would as well.

ETA if there is a councilperson or state legislators office in Chinatown they will also notarize.


sithbarbie t1_jada7rx wrote

TD Bank offers free notary but call ahead to the location you wish to visit. The notary may only be available during certain days or times and you don’t have to be a customer of the bank. As for reading documents, I’ve had several items notarized by them and they never read anything.

Edit: added non-customers welcome


LFKhael t1_jadb916 wrote

I'd try Success Driving School.

They might not be a notary, but I'd bet they can point you in the right direction.


fyreflake OP t1_jaerch9 wrote

Ooh, thanks for the tip! Will pursue this!


unfallible t1_jadfl2s wrote

I've gotten things notarized at the bank of America in center city near Chinatown and most of the employees were Asian. Not sure if they'd be comfortable doing it but I'm guessing you have a decent chance.


Dingerdongdick t1_jaddlsd wrote

Banks in chinatown


fyreflake OP t1_jaert4k wrote

Good idea. I tried my local banks but not the ones on Chinatown (d'oh). Even if I don't have an account with a bank offering notary services there, hoping they can help for a fee for non-customers.


mundotaku t1_jaewubr wrote

I don't know what the document is for, but you may need an apostille if you plan to use that document in China.,entrance%20of%20the%20Keystone%20Building.

A notary in the US only works as an official witness of a signature. Apostille verifies the document being signed.


sugr_magnolia t1_jad29zk wrote

Call a court reporting service that does translation.


Away_Refuse8493 t1_jacypvb wrote

Is this legal? I would think you would need to have them in Chinese and English, and need a translator to attend also advising and signing off, in front of the notary. (Chinese is not an official language, which is why I think it might have to be done this way.)


vodkaismywater t1_jad7cm3 wrote

Not correct. The exclusive function of a notary is to verify the identity of a signatory. They do not evaluate or read the contents of the document whatsoever.

You could notarize signatures on a potato if you wanted to.


Away_Refuse8493 t1_jad9z1c wrote

That's fine, but I don't really see the point of getting something notarized in a foreign language, without a translator also signing off that it's been translated correctly, if you want it to be enforceable. There is no "Chinese court" - granted you could probably have a translator on the back end, but two parties that only speak Chinese doing business in Philadelphia don't need a notary to do business. (You don't need a notary for most things to be enforceable anyway, Docusign will do).

I'm just trying to think of context. I suppose if they are applying for Chinese citizenship or these documents are going to China, or something, it would make sense.


fyreflake OP t1_jadb3f5 wrote

My parent passed away overseas and I'm trying to declare a power of attorney to represent me in Taiwan for legal matters. The Taiwan embassy in New York requires all related paperwork to be notarized (so they can prove it's me who's signing the documents) before they will authenticate it for use in Taiwan. The actual contents of the documents don't matter—they just need to know it's actually me who's signing the documents. Hope that clarifies the context!


cashewkowl t1_jadfg3t wrote

Can you use an independent notary? I know my mom used to be a notary as well as the secretary at my kid’s school. This was in another state, but maybe put a request on r/phillylist for a notary who will do this.


fyreflake OP t1_jaeril4 wrote

I contacted a few that were iffy due to the foreign language. Still waiting for callbacks from others.


Away_Refuse8493 t1_jadcofe wrote

That makes sense. I don't have a recommendation, but as the other person stated, if it doesn't need to be understood in the US (since its going to Taiwan) wouldn't any notary do? You can just call and see if this is fine?

Similarly, I once had to do foreign-language paperwork for stuff in a foreign countries, and they required I either show up in person or have a proxy go on my behalf, so maybe you need an on-the-ground attorney (or PoA of your own) to execute this? Sorry, this is more me thinking vs knowing the actual answer. Good luck!


TransplantedFern t1_jaeksve wrote

English isn’t an official language either. We don’t have one in America.


GoyoPollo1 t1_jaen8kq wrote

This is what many notaries were requesting when I needed something notarized that was written in French. But we did find someone who would do it without translation finally.


fyreflake OP t1_jaerz50 wrote

Yeah, it's so odd that many seem uncomfortable notarizing foreign-language docs even though it's quite clear online they don't have to read/understand the documents! Glad you found someone eventually!


prozute t1_jadr7ox wrote

Try a local Chinese lawyer like Zhen Jin?